On Saturday October 20th (2018), I went to For the Love of Horror in Manchester (UK). For the Love of Horror crosses a horror convention with a scare event. This first edition of this event was held at Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester and it was organised by Monopoly Events. Before the event I wrote 3 articles, talking about: the guest list, the scare attractions and the Cosplayers and other things to do. When I decided to go to For the Love of Horror, I was very excited to see that Danny Trejo would be a guest. I finally got the chance to meet Mr. Machete himself and besides his role in the "Machete"- movies, Danny played in a lot of other very cool movies. So first, let me tell you a bit more about the wonderful Mr. Danny Trejo.
Who is Danny Trejo
Now if you have never seen Danny Trejo in a movie before, that means you do not watch enough movies! Really, the man has a whopping amount of 368 credits (and still counting) to his name.
Trejo was born on May 16th 1944, in Echo Park (one of the toughest neighborhoods of Los Angeles at that time). His uncle (a drug addict and armed robber) mentored him and at a very early age Danny already was addicted to drugs and in and out of jail. At one point, in the aftermath of a prison riot (facing the death penalty), Trejo turned to God and swore to turn his life around if he got another chance. He got that second chance and held his promise ever since. From that day on he has been living clean and helping troubled youth. He joined Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. In 1985, through a twist of fate, he ended up on the set of "Runaway Train" starring Eric Roberts and Jon Voight. He got a job as a boxing trainer for Eric Roberts. When the director Andrei Konchalovski saw him box, he offered Danny a role as an extra in the movie (he played Roberts' opponent). In the years following, he got cast over and over again for supporting roles in movies, because of his very distinctive rugged look and posture. And now more than 3 decades later the man is still going strong. He worked together with great names like Tarantino and Rodriguez and gained a cult status. Fun Fact: Danny Trejo and Robert Rodriguez are second cousins, but they were not aware of that, until they stared filming "Desperado". Furthermore Trejo is known for roles in movies, like: "From Dusk 'till Dawn" (he is the only one of the cast appearing in all three movies) , "Heat", "Anaconda", "Con Air", "Once upon a Time in Mexico", "Spy Kids", "Machete" and a lot more.
Q&A Danny Trejo
At the event, I attended a lot of the Q&As and of course I wanted to see Danny Trejo's Q&A. It was one of the last ones of the day, but it was still pretty early in the afternoon. When Danny walked on stage, he seemed to be very relaxed and having a great time at the event. Because of this, the Q&A was a lot of fun to attend. Of course, Trejo talked about his role in the "Machete"-movies. He had a lot of fun making them and he also mentioned that he loved the movie (and he even would do so, if he wasn't in it). I already mentioned that Trejo has a lot of credits to his name and about this Danny said that it really is just a job for him. He just shows up on set and enjoys acting. He mentioned that everyone in the movie business, should be very thankful about having a chance to do it. Danny had a very rough childhood and he is grateful that he could turn it around. After his time in prison, he worked as a boxing coach and he also coached young people that were struggling with drug addictions. When he visited a movie set one day (to help a client), he was asked learn Eric Roberts how to box. If he would to this he would get paid $350 per day, but the director told him that there would be a chance he would get hit back. Danny jokingly answered that he didn't mind, because he used to get beat up for free. He joked also around that he even would paint you house if you paid him.
One of my all-time favorite movies is "Blood in, Blood out" (a.k.a. "Bound by Honor"). MINOR SPOILERS FOR "BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT" - It follows the lives of three Chicano relatives: the stepbrothers Paco (Benjamin Bratt) and Cruz (Jesse Borrego) and their mixed-racial cousin Miklo (Damian Chapa). The story starts in 1972, when Miklo moves in with his cousins. When Miklo wants to join their gang (Vatos Locos), he must proof himself by attacking a rival gang. From this point on sh#t hits the fan and a counter attack cripples Cruz for life. The revenge attack by Vatos Locos does not go as planned and Miklo gets shot. Not long after they are being arrested and Miklo goes to San Quentin State Prison for murder, while Paco volunteers for the U.S. Army. I will not tell you any more about the rest of the movie because you just have to check it out yourselves. - END OF SPOILER. Danny Trejo played the role of Geronimo in the movie and I asked him about it. He first mentioned that he loved the movie too, but it was pretty intense for him to work on it. He said that it was pretty bizarre to be "back in San Quentin", because he did time there in the 60s. Click the video below for more or less the entire Saturday Q&A of Danny at For the Love of Horror.
Meeting Mr. Trejo
Before the convention I did a lot of research about Danny Trejo and one of the things I read was that he is one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. The Q&A confirmed this for me and not long after the Q&A I had my photo op. Although Mr. Trejo seemed to be very nice, I was very nervous when I was queueing for the photo. When it was my turn to meet Mr. Machete himself, the photographer was still talking to the previous guy. Danny welcomed me with open arms and we stood there for a while before the photo was taken. Because Danny seemed to be so relaxed, I relaxed a bit too and the photo turned out pretty good. This will certainly get a very cool place in my "Hall of Fame".
If you ever get the chance to meet Mr. Trejo at a convention and if you are a fan of his movies; just go and meet him. You won't be disappointed! Even if you're not a big fan of his movies, you should at least check out his Q&A; because with a whopping 350+ credits on his name, this man is an absolute legend.
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